LinkedIn message ads, previously known as sponsored InMail, are basically paid messages sent by marketers to people of their choosing. While there is absolutely no guarantee that the recipients of these message ads will open them, they’re still one of the best ad types on LinkedIn.
In this article, we’ll cover how you can set up LinkedIn message ads, why you should use them, and how to nail them.
How to create LinkedIn message ads
LinkedIn message ads are very effective compared to other modes of advertising since they allow you to send direct messages to people of interest. They can include anything: an offer of sale, buy or even connect.
For the sake of helping you create compelling LinkedIn message ads of your own, we’re first going to go through the process of creating a message ad, step by step.
Let’s start with the basics of setting up LinkedIn Ads.
- Create a LinkedIn campaign manager account in case you haven’t already. Make sure to link it to your page in case you need it
- Once you’re done creating your account or logging in, click on the “create campaign” button found in the top-right corner of the page
- First off, you will have to specify the objective of your ad. When it comes to message ads, you can go with either lead generation or website visits. This step is crucial because it will determine the content included in your ad as well as the key metrics that you would focus on to measure the overall performance of your campaign
Set up your audience settings
Next up, you will need to either create a new audience or select a saved audience if you have one. As you start selecting the different qualities of your target audience, you will notice the values shifting on the forecasted results window (right side of the page). It includes an estimation of the size of your target audience as well as the cost of your campaign as a whole.
In order to edit your target audience
Simply click on “audience attributes”, and five criteria will appear; company, demographics, education, job experience, and interests and traits. You can also choose to exclude accounts from the campaign. If you plan on using it in the future, make sure to click on “save as template” at the bottom of the selection.
If you want to use data instead to retarget website visitors, click on “matched audiences”. You can use contact lists, lead gen forms, and third-party sources.
Pick the ad format
Once you set up your target audience, you will have to choose the ad format. Of course, in this case, you are going to pick “message ad”.
Set your budget
Then, you will find yourself in the “budget and schedule” section. Here, you can specify the amount to bid, schedule, and total or daily budget. Make sure to check the forecast results panel on the right to know exactly when to stop, your sweet spot, basically.
Lastly, you can enable or disable conversion tracking. We highly recommend that you turn it on so that you can track the traffic to your website through the message ads. This is very important because it will give you a clear idea about whether your campaign was worth it or not.
Let’s name the ad
Next up, click on “create new ad”. You’ll have to specify the name of your ad as well as its senders. You can choose from the list of approved senders, yourself included, or add a new one.
Now it’s your time to shine. Add the text that will be included in your ad. Make sure to keep it short. It should be easy to read and clear of any grammatical faults.
Adding a footer and a call-to-action to your ad is optional, so is adding a banner image. The latter is very important because if you don’t add a banner image, a random company’s banner image can show up there when people receive your ad.
It’s done, but not over
At last, you’re now done. But still, as is the case with almost any digital ad out there, you need to closely track the performance of your ad after you launch it, or else you’re missing a lot of important information. You can do that by using LinkedIn analytics.
The benefits of LinkedIn message ads
The benefits of LinkedIn message ads are many, including:
High open rates
According to theb2bhouse, message ads have an open rate of 38%. In other words, if you send out 1000 message ads, you’re guaranteed to reach at least 380 people. That is exceptionally good in comparison to other ad formats. In comparison, email marketing has an average open rate of 21.5% , whereas Facebook ads have an average CTR of 0.9% according to WordStream.
This is perhaps the most obvious advantage out of the bunch.
First of all, LinkedIn ads allow you to target professionals. Other social media platforms, by comparison, allow you to target all kinds of consumers. In other words, LinkedIn ads, in general, are already targeted.
Then there’s the fact that LinkedIn message ads allow you to communicate with your prospects directly. In other words, you can tailor both the copy and the call-to-action (CTA) contained in your message ad based on the different profiles of the people you are targeting.
LinkedIn Message Ads: Lead generation
LinkedIn allows you to include lead gen forms in your message ads, enabling you to gather leads directly from your inbox.
Besides LinkedIn’s regular run-of-the-mill advertising analytics, you can use demographic reporting to get a more accurate image of which recipients are interacting well with your ads. Such insights allow you to deliver proper follow-up messages, greatly increasing your chances of conversion in the process.
Value for money
LinkedIn message ads are based on the cost-per-send model, meaning that you only pay for the ads sent successfully. Although this does not necessarily mean that these ads will cost you less than, say, a sponsored post, for example, it still ensures that you only pay for what content was sent.
7 best LinkedIn message ads practices
Here are seven helpful tips for LinkedIn message ads to help you get more engagement from your recipients.
1. Use a credible sender
The first and perhaps most important point of sending out LinkedIn message ads is relying on a credible sender. Whoever you choose as your sender should have a job title that is credible enough to the point of giving value to the message ad itself. For example, a marketing manager or even CEO should do the trick.
2. Be straightforward
The copy of your message should be both straightforward and relevant to the recipient. Additionally, you should try as much to address your target audience in a personal-like manner. The easiest way to do this is by using the word “you”.
3. Don’t be assertive
Yes, message ads are technically paid advertising. However, this doesn’t mean that it needs to sound like an ad; quite the opposite, actually. If your message ads end up sounding like just one serious but cheap attempt at guaranteeing a sale, chances are, whoever is reading them won’t bother with the CTA or your business as a whole. The content of your copy shouldn’t be very pushy. Instead, adopt a personal and conversational-like tone.
4. Include an engaging call to action
At the end of the day, the main aim of your message ads is to get engagements on them. And the only way to ensure that is by including a clear and obvious call to action (CTA) at the end of your ad. LinkedIn allows you to add a button CTA at the end of the message, but we also recommend that you utilise a hypertext using one of these words: join, register, download, and more.
5. Use an engaging image in your LinkedIn message ads
In the case of message ads being delivered to a desktop, an image can be included with the message. We said desktop because this doesn’t work for mobile.
Your image should, of course, be related to the message being delivered and should preferably be 300×250 pixels.
6. Use lead gen forms
Including lead generation forms within your LinkedIn sponsored content lets you collect important bits of information about your leads. The brilliant thing about these forms is that they auto-fill information about your audience without them having to fill it all out.
This data is crucial for creating and improving future sponsored content, not just message ads.
7. Use analytics for your LinkedIn message ads
As is the case with any other form of digital marketing out there, ads aren’t really a “post it and forget it” kind of deal.
Just a few days after your message ads are up and running, open the analytics tab to closely follow the performance of your ads and get an idea of things.
Another important component in your campaign manager is the demographic tab which gives you detailed information about the kind of people who are interacting with your ads. Anything from the industry they operate within to their job titles and such. As we have mentioned before, this information is very helpful in the future as it allows you to improve on your ads and to fine-tune future ones before releasing them into the wild.
LinkedIn message ads, just like any other kind of paid advertising, can be hard to nail. That’s why agencies like ours exist – to help you get the most out of LinkedIn advertising without spending a fortune. Book a discovery call today, and we’ll help your business reach new heights through LinkedIn ads.